Nursing: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (D.N.P.)

The online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program prepares nurses for the highest level of specialized nursing practice. DNP graduates are innovative leaders prepared to translate evidence into practice, improve systems of care and measure health outcomes in diverse settings. Students are required to plan, implement, and evaluate a quality improvement project customized to support their unique aspirations.

The Post Baccalaureate DNP (PB DNP) program is for nurses with a baccalaureate degree in nursing who are seeking leadership development and certifcation as a Pyschiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.  This program will prepare the experienced Registered Nurse (RN) with the knowledge, skills,and competencies to assess,diagnose, and manage mental healthcare patients across the lifespan. Foundational core coursework to prepare the advanced practice nurse is completed prior to transitioning into specialty content.

Courses are competency based, founded on evidence-based approaches to care management and learning strategies with commitment to student success and continuous quality improvement embedded within the process. Synchronous, asynchronous, low and high-fidelity simulation, on campus intensives,and clinical immersion will reinforce didactic content and afford the student the opportunity to transition to an active member of a collaborative mental health care team.

Upon successful program completion, graduates will be eligible to sit for the ANCC board certification exam for Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Across the Lifespan (PMHNP-BC).

Admission Requirements

  1. Registered Nurse licensure: An unencumbered registered nurse license in the United States
  2. Letters of recommendation: Three letters of reference pertaining to academic ability, professional competency, and personal character are required.
  3. Updated resume
  4. Professional statement: The professional statement must include a written essay responding to each of the following:
    1. This is a graduate program that requires a high cognitive load, explain in detail how you are going to prepare yourself for that and manage throughout the program?

    2. Discuss the DNP PMHNP program, what experiences have contributed to your interest and how do you visualize yourself in this role after graduation?

    3. Where do you visualize yourself in 3 years, 5 years, and 7 years?

  5. Interview: After initial review of the application, applicants may be contacted for an interview.

Degree Requirements

Clinical Hours: 750*

Required Courses
NURS 812Advanced Pharmacology and Therapeutics3
NURS 814Advanced Health Assessment Across the Lifespan3
NURS 816Health Promotion Theory and Population Health3
NURS 818Foundations of Evidence Based Practice3
NURS 820Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan3
NURS 900Foundations of Scholarly Writing & Professional Communication3
NURS 910Genomics & Ethics3
NURS 911Diagnosis & Management - Diagnostic Reasoning3
NURS 915Leadership, Role & Collaboration3
NURS 917Biostats and Epidemiology3
NURS 977Neurobiology of Mental Disorders Across the Lifespan2
NURS 978Psychopharmacology of Mental Health Disorders Across the Lifespan I2
NURS 979Psychopharmacology of Mental Health Disorders Across the Lifespan II2
NURS 983Foundations of Psychiatric-Mental Health Practice and Assessment3
NURS 986Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Practicum I2
NURS 987Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Practicum II3
NURS 988Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Practicum III3
NURS 989Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Practicum IV3
NURS 990Mental Health & Special Populations3
NURS 991Diagnosis & Management of Mental Health Disorders Across the Lifespan I3
NURS 992Diagnosis & Management of Mental Health Disorders Across the Lifespan II3
NURS 947DNP Systems Thinking Seminar I3
NURS 948DNP Systems Thinking Seminar II3
NURS 949DNP Systems Thinking Seminar III3
NURS 964Information Systems and Technology Improvement3
NURS 967Evidence Based Practice Methods3
NURS 969Health Systems Policy, Economics & Financial Planning3
NURS 973Quality & Safety3
Total Credits80

Clinical hours are completed through the following required courses: NURS 986, NURS 987, NURS 988, NURS 989.

The Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner builds upon the skills of the baccalaureate prepared generalist nurse. 

At the completion of the DNP Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program, the graduate student is prepared to:

  • Serve in a healthcare leadership and change agent role as part of a diverse, complex, and patient-centered health care system.
  • Act as a practice scholar to design, direct and evaluate system changes to promote safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable and patient-centered care.
  • Use data analytic methods, information systems and technology to evaluate, integrate and apply knowledge that will improve programs of care, outcomes of care and care systems.
  • Use translational science and analytic methods to develop, identify, implement, and evaluate best practices to improve health care and health care systems.
  • Design and implement health promotion and clinical prevention strategies across the health/illness continuum to optimize health and disease management.
  • Systematically use improvement methods to monitor and evaluate care processes and outcomes and applies data for continuous improvement and safety
  • Advocate for social justice through policy, professional and political engagement.
  • Applies leadership principles that support inter-professional practice.

In addition to the Outcomes above, the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner graduate will:

  • Utilize advanced practice knowledge, skills, and competencies to assess, diagnose, and coordinate and manage mental health care patients across the lifespan
  • Recommend and prescribe evidence-based developmentally appropriate treatment modalities to manage psychiatric conditions in patients across the lifespan defined by shared decision-making and patient concordance within state and federal scope of practice regulations
  • Engage in professional, bias-free, quality, safe, collaborative, and ethical, evidence-based practice across all mental healthcare practice settings